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APS to construct new substation near 43rd Avenue


Elizabeth Medora

ANTHEM – A new APS substation will soon be constructed on the west side of Anthem, east of 43rd Ave. The Daisy Mountain Substation is scheduled to be finished by spring of next year, in order to be ready for the high demand during the summer season.

Kendra Lee, APS Franchises & Technical Services representative, noted that this new substation will help enhance reliability in the area and support future growth as needed.

Right now, APS is working on the architectural elements for the wall, according to Lee. The substation will be about the same size as the substation in New River, but the substations will not resemble each other. The Anthem substation is planned to have walls that look similar to the walls in the surrounding neighborhood. The substation will also be set back about 65 ft. east of 43rd Ave.

“We build them to try to blend into the neighborhood,” Lee said of substation construction.

According to a letter from APS to nearby residents, the Daisy Mountain Substation property will be approximately 320 ft. x 310 ft., with block walls of about 10 ft. high. Landscaping is planned to match the surrounding area.

The west side of Anthem has been prone to power outages in the summers. Lee said that, for this summer, APS was able to implement some temporary fixes for the outages, which improved reliability. This new substation will keep up that reliability with permanent infrastructure upgrades.

Right now, three APS substations are located in the North Valley, with one in New River, one in Tramonto, and one near Gavilan Peak Pkwy. and King Dr. in Anthem.

New infrastructure will include 65 ft. poles with lines that cross I-17, connecting to the thousands of miles of the interconnected power grid. The substation will be supporting homes on either side of the freeway.

“That substation will serve not just those customers on the west side, but on the east side, as well,” Lee said. “It will support the entire area as needed.”

Lee said the residential power usage in this area is a fairly heavy load. This area also includes multiple businesses, and the combined customer usage has necessitated new infrastructure in the area. The substation will provide power for Circle Mountain Ranch, the new development on 43rd Ave., but that new development was not the catalyst for building the substation.

“This substation was planned far before we even knew about that project,” Lee noted. “We started planning for this last summer.”

The expected cost for the substation is $5-6 million, which Lee says is standard for a substation. This expenditure is part of APS’ planned capital improvements.

“Statewide, we have about 400 substations serving our customers,” Lee noted. Size and capacity of the substations vary; the substations are tailored to the area they serve.

Existing infrastructure will also be getting an upgrade: the substation on Carefree Hwy. will be getting upgraded to increase its capacity. The upgrades and new substation are expected to sufficiently serve the electricity needs of the surrounding area for years to come.

“We do our planning 5, 10, 20 years out,” Lee explained, adding that APS is not anticipating needing additional substations in the area in the near future.

“We believe that will provide sufficient capacity in the area,” Lee said.